Export VM from Nutanix AHV


I have seen some asks around virtual machine export from Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV). To export VM form Nutanix AHV we will use qemu-img Linux tool and export VM into qcow2 format.

Below quick guide on how to export VM from Nutanix AHV.


  • Acropolis Base Software 4.6.X or newer
  • AHV 20160217 or newer

Step #1 – identify VM disk UUID

Log in to CVM via ssh and get into Acropolis command line – type acli. First, list VM <vm.list>.  Seconds, check virtual machine disk UUID <vm.get VirtualMachineName> . Search for line named vmdisk_uuid and note it down

<acropolis> vm.list
VM name         VM UUID
ArturTest01     b8aa233a-c558-4aed-9dd5-b4795907c2da
<acropolis> vm.get ArturTest01
ArturTest01 {
  config {
    disk_list {
      addr {
        bus: "ide"
        index: 0
      cdrom: True
      empty: True
    disk_list {
      addr {
        bus: "scsi"
        index: 0
      container_id: 8
      source_vmdisk_uuid: "3f294837-36dd-4d0d-a766-71113c68e5fd"
      vmdisk_size: 64425558016
      vmdisk_uuid: "7e80401c-003a-4a43-add8-645af5d7db58"
    memory_mb: 6144
    name: "ArturTest01"
    nic_list {
      mac_addr: "52:54:00:6a:c7:61"
      network_name: "VLAN92"
      network_uuid: "8e06c992-7543-48f7-9380-51493b09317b"
    num_cores_per_vcpu: 1
    num_vcpus: 2
  host_name: "c04nodea.gso.lab"
  host_uuid: "3e15fc7d-8427-4572-9636-2237d828d28c"
  logical_timestamp: 2
  state: "kOn"
  uuid: "b8aa233a-c558-4aed-9dd5-b4795907c2da"

Step #2 – run qemu-img and export disk to qcow2 file format.
Run qemu-img from CVM

[email protected]:~$ qemu-img convert -f raw -O qcow2 -c nfs://<cvm_ip>/<container>/.acropolis/vmdisk/<vmdisk_uuid> nfs://<cvm_ip>/<container>/<vmdisk_name>.qcow2

NOTE #1: make sure VM is powered off before you export it.

NOTE #2: if you put only qcow2 filename at the end of the command, qcow2 file will be created iin the path you run command from.

NOTE #3: make sure to use output path for file with enough free space

[email protected]::~$  qemu-img convert -f -c raw nfs:// -O qcow2 nfs://<container>/ArturTest01.qcow2

After several minutes ( waiting time greatly depends on vm disk size, hardware platform, CVM resources utilization) you should have file ready for download from Nutanix Container. Add your workstation\server IP (if windows it has to be Windows 2012R2 or Windows 8.1 or newer) to container whitelist and you can browse is image file.

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Artur Krzywdzinski

Artur is Consulting Architect at Nutanix. He has been using, designing and deploying VMware based solutions since 2005 and Microsoft since 2012. He specialize in designing and implementing private and hybrid cloud solution based on VMware and Microsoft software stacks, datacenter migrations and transformation, disaster avoidance. Artur holds VMware Certified Design Expert certification (VCDX #077).

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Hi Artur,

I am not able to convert images.

I follow this command on my machine.

qemu-img convert -c .acropolis/vmdisk/9450e545-033b-4959-b7f8-4f8e1bd04d4e /home/Ankit/MC.qcow2

getting error: ************************
qemu-img: Compression not supported for this file format
I just install on ubuntu machine
sudo apt-get install qemu-img

is there any more need to conversion…

Thanks you

[…] command to export a VM. So i wrote a script which helps with this part based on the great post from Artur […]


Artur I did all this successfully, how do you then bring it back into a new block for restoration on a new install? Re-convert the image back to raw format? Then how do you bring them VM back into use?

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

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